I was just reading Phil Windley's latest blog entry introducing the concept of a Cloud OS. As I wrote my feedback I had an A-HA moment (no I did not start humming Take on Me) I realized that a Cloud OS may be the term but it's more of a new kind of OS - one that recognizes the user as the one unique ID, and the data, accounts, functionality, and devices important to the user are attributes and by design all the things important to the user go with the user - independent of OS, device, and application(s).
Once this was in place - users could simplify their experience around 'personas'. For instance I have a work email account and several personal ones that are tied to my blogs, interest groups, different geographies, and interests. These personas all are part of me the user, but occupy different meaning and use in my day to day life. They can be accessed on my phone, tablet, laptop, or other device. It's like Circles on Google+ only less integrated to one vendor.
That to me is the way to go - develop a single Veneer to which me - one user - can configure what I want based on my persona. Different privacy levels and chinese walls so my political views don't cross into my professional life where they have little importance or information about my health or marital status isn't broadcast to my marketing database or Facebook account. In other words I am Me. Online. Offline. Device independent. And can prove it with more than a mother's maiden name and PIN - quickly and beyond a shadow of a doubt and tell you who the girl was who kicked me in the balls at my second baseball practice in 3rd grade as my security question.